NBA News and Notes June - 14

NBA News and Notes June - 14

NBA Today - June 13

Wed, Jun 13, 2007
By Associated Press

SCOREBOARD

Wednesday, June 13

No games scheduled.

STAR

Tuesday

-Tony Parker, Spurs, scored 17 points to lead San Antonio to a 75-72 victory over Cleveland.

LOW SCORING

San Antonio's 75-72 victory over Cleveland in Game 3 Tuesday night tied for the second-lowest scoring game in NBA finals history. The mark is 145 set in 1955 by Fort Wayne and Syracuse.

COOLING OFF

Cleveland rookie guard Daniel Gibson started for the first time in Game 3 of the NBA finals Tuesday night after shooting 13-for-21 in the first two games, but went just 1-for-10, including 0-for-5 from 3-point range, as the Cavaliers lost to San Antonio 75-72 to go down 0-3.

CRUNCH TIME

San Antonio guard Manu Ginobili, scoreless on 0-for-7 shooting through the first 47-plus minutes, hit three free throws in the last 10.4 seconds, as the Spurs held off Cleveland 75-72 Tuesday night to take a 3-0 lead in the NBA finals.

DOWNTOWN

San Antonio was 10-of-19 from 3-point range, including a combined 7-for-9 from Bruce Bowen and Brent Barry, while Cleveland shot just 3-for-19 from downtown in Game 3 of the NBA finals, won 75-72 by the Spurs on Tuesday night.

SWINGS

Cleveland center Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who had 10 total rebounds in the first two games of the NBA finals, had 10 offensive and 18 total Tuesday night in Game 3. But the result was the same as San Antonio took a 3-0 lead with a 75-72 victory.

SITTING OUT

Cleveland point guard Larry Hughes was inactive for Game 3 of the NBA finals against San Antonio on Tuesday night after hobbling throughout the first two games - and much of the past few weeks - with a sore left foot. The Spurs won 75-72 to take a 3-0 lead.

NOT TUNING IN

Game 2 of the NBA finals lost nearly one-third of its television audience from last year. San Antonio's lopsided victory over Cleveland drew a 5.6 national rating and 10 share on ABC on Sunday night. The ratings for Game 1 fell 19 percent from last year.

STEPPING DOWN

Rick Carlisle, fired in April after four years as Indiana coach, told the Pacers on Tuesday he will not return as the team's executive vice president. Carlisle told The Associated Press on Monday night that working in television, coaching or taking time off are all immediate possibilities.

MOVING ON

Buzz Peterson resigned Tuesday as coach at Coastal Carolina to become director of player personnel for the Charlotte Bobcats. Michael Jordan, Peterson's former college roommate and teammate at North Carolina, is part-owner of the Bobcats and has final say on all basketball decisions. Peterson was 35-25 in two seasons with the Chanticleers, who hired him after he was fired as Tennessee's coach in 2005. Peterson also coached at Tulsa and Appalachian State.

SPEAKING

''Offensively we could not get the ball in the basket. Nobody for us was having a good game as far as Tim, Tony and Manu are concerned offensively. But we kept getting stops and getting in there and we know it was ugly but we are up 3-0 at the end of the day and that's all that counts in the series.'' - San Antonio reserve swingman Brent Barry after a 75-72 victory over Cleveland on Tuesday night.

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Re: NBA News and Notes June - 14

Rockets to acquire James from Minnesota
June 13th, 2007

Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Mike James played for Houston for part of the 2004-05 season, and he's apparently headed back to the Rockets.

The Houston Chronicle reports James could be dealt from the Minnesota Timberwolves back to the Rockets as early as Thursday in exchange for Juwan Howard. The newspaper reports the deal could be expanded to include other players.

James played in all 82 games last season and averaged 10.1 points, about half as much as he averaged while playing for Toronto in 2005-06. He has played for seven different teams over his career and has averaged 11.5 points per game.

Howard, a first-round draft pick by Washington in 1994, averaged 9.7 points and 5.9 rebounds last season, his third with Houston.

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Re: NBA News and Notes June - 14

Duncan's Dynasty? Spurs go for sweep of Cavs
June 14th, 2007

(Sports Network) - The San Antonio Spurs attempt to sweep the Cleveland Cavaliers and capture their fourth title in nine years, as the teams battle tonight in Game 4 of the NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena.

San Antonio leads the best-of-seven series 3-0. If necessary, Game 5 is scheduled for Sunday at Quicken Loans Arena.

After winning Games 1 and 2 at the AT&T Center, the Spurs edged Cleveland in the third game of the set to take a commanding lead in the series. On Tuesday, superstar LeBron James missed a potential game-tying three-pointer in the final seconds, as the San Antonio defeated Cleveland, 75-72, at Quicken Loans Arena

There was drama in the final seconds of Game 3, as James made a layup with 6.3 seconds left to get the Cavaliers within 73-72, but Manu Ginobili drained two free throws with 5.5 seconds left. On the ensuing inbounds pass, Bruce Bowen, San Antonio's defensive stopper who had 13 points, got his hands on James, trying for the foul before a three-point try in the closing seconds. No foul was called and James' shot caromed off the rim. Zydrunas Ilgauskas tried to keep the ball alive for the Cavs, but time expired.

Tony Parker finished with 17 points to lead the Spurs. while Tim Duncan, who was held scoreless in the middle two quarters, ended with 14 points and nine rebounds in the victory.

James had 25 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in the loss. Drew Gooden contributed 13 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out, and Sasha Pavlovic also had 13 points. Ilgauskas ended with 12 points and 18 boards.

On the injury front for Cleveland, guard Larry Hughes (partial tear in left plantar fascia) is questionable for tonight's contest. Hughes is averaging 11.3 points in the playoffs.

The Cavaliers are the 12th team to lose the first three games of the NBA Finals. Seven of the previous 11 clubs who were down 3-0 ended up being swept in the series. No team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit to win an NBA playoff series.

Cleveland is 7-2 as the host in this year's playoffs, while the Spurs, who are 1-2 all-time in Game 4s of the NBA Finals, are 6-2 on the road in the postseason.

The Spurs are 3-1 when they have a chance to knock out their opponent in the NBA Finals. Their one loss came against the Detroit Pistons at home in Game 6 of the 2005 finals.

The last time the Cavaliers were swept in the postseason was in 1996, when they were eliminated by the New York Knicks, 3-0, in the opening round of the playoffs.

San Antonio, which was seeded third in the Western Conference, is playing in the NBA Finals for the fourth time in franchise history and is a perfect 3-0 in this round. The Spurs defeated the Knicks in five in 1999, the New Jersey Nets in six in 2003 and the Pistons in seven in 2005.

Duncan, who is averaging 20.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists in the finals, was the NBA Finals MVP in all three of San Antonio's championship victories.

If the Spurs defeat Cleveland, Parker is also a serious candidate for MVP of the finals. The All-Star point guard is averaging 24.7 points, 4.3 boards and 4.0 assists in the series.

The Spurs, who lost in seven to the Dallas Mavericks in last year's semifinals, knocked out No. 6 Denver in five games in the opening round, survived a tough six-game series with the second-seeded Suns and crushed No. 4 Utah, 4-1, in the conference finals. San Antonio is in the postseason for the 10th straight year.

Cleveland, which lost in seven to Detroit in last year's East semis, has reached the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history. James has stepped up to the next level and has carried the Cavaliers, who were the second seed in the Eastern Conference, throughout the playoffs. They swept No. 7 Washington, 4-0, in the quarterfinals, beat New Jersey in six in the semis and surprised the top-seeded Pistons in six in the conference finals.

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Re: NBA News and Notes June - 14

Wolves acquire vetern forward F Howard
June 14th, 2007

Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - The Minnesota Timberwolves acquired forward Juwan Howard from the Houston Rockets for guard Mike James and forward Justin Reed on Thursday.

Howard, a 6-foot-9 forward, averaged 9.7 points and 5.9 rebounds in 80 games with the Rockets last season and finished the year with nine double-doubles.

For his career, Howard has appeared in 951 games, averaging 16.1 points and 7.1 rebounds in stints with Washington, Dallas, Denver, Orlando and Houston.

"Juwan is a veteran low-post player who is a proven scorer and rebounder," said Timberwolves vice president of basketball operations Kevin McHale. "He will add needed depth to our front court, and with this move we are balancing out our roster. Juwan also provides a solid locker room presence. We wish both Mike and Justin the best in Houston. Both players have been true professionals while with our organization."

James signed as a free agent with the Wolves in 2006 and averaged 10.1 points and 3.6 assists in 2006-07. The 6-foot-2 guard has averaged 11.5 points and four assists in 409 career games.

Meanwhile, Reed tallied 4.4 points and 1.7 rebounds in 81 games over the past two seasons with the Wolves.

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